KSTP reported that a Maplewood couple was charged with neglect of a child in Ramsey County. According to the complaint, the home was covered in dirty laundry, pans were left in the sink with rotting food in them, the toilet appeared to be plugged, dirty diapers were littered across the living space, and used tampons were scattered across the bathroom floor. Officers reported that the smell inside the home was so overwhelming they had trouble breathing and the Maplewood Health Officer later declared the building to be a health nuisance and uninhabitable.
Raising children in a filthy home is a form of neglect, and children who grow up in dirty, unsafe environments are at risk for facing emotional and physical consequences, according to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families. Poor hygiene, poor health, learned behavior, and mental health problems are some of the harmful consequences of children living in dirty homes.
Children who live in filthy homes may not fully understand, nor practice, good hygiene. Showering, brushing teeth, combing hair and washing clothes are examples of good hygiene when performed on a consistent basis. However, when kids come from filthy home environments, they don't always have access to clean clothes and their parents may be neglecting to teach them the basics of good hygiene.
Not only do presenting home filth and hazards impact children's health during their youth, but it also makes people more susceptible to illnesses when they get older. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dust mites, pet fur, mold and cockroach droppings left unclean trigger asthma attacks in children. In addition, dirty and messy environments breed germs and bacteria. Exposure to such conditions can cause kids to get sick due to the unsanitary conditions that aren't often cleaned or disinfected. Accordingly, many children get sick repeatedly because they never fully get rid of the germs or bacteria.
Children who grow up in these hazardous environments are learning the negative behaviors of their parents or guardians. Learned behaviors are things that can be changed or controlled. With the right intervention and support system in place, this vicious cycle can be broken.
Mental health problems
Depression and other serious mental health problems are conditions that children can get as a result of living with neglectful parents or guardians. The hazardaous home environment can be extremely overwhelming to some children, causing them to become violent, angry, aggressive, and depressed due to the frustration caused by their home environment.